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Man killed in shooting near NIU campus

updated: 11/26/2011 10:20 AM

A 19-year-old suburban Chicago man was charged with murder Wednesday in connection with the shooting death of a Northern Illinois University student at an off-campus party.

Steven Agee II, 22, got into an argument with 19-year-old Chaz Thrailkill at about 2 a.m. Wednesday, police said. The argument escalated, and Agree was shot, DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen said. Agee was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Nine hours later, Thrailkill was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm. He was held Wednesday on $3 million bail.

Thrailkill, of Markham, is not an NIU student. He was visiting a friend in DeKalb and was arrested in the city after witnesses identified him, Feithen said.

Agee graduated from Thornwood High School in South Holland and was majoring in sociology, the Chicago Tribune reported. The senior had a job offer in San Diego after graduation, and his parents were to pick him Wednesday morning for Thanksgiving.

"I just lost my baby boy. That';s it," said his father, Steven Agee, in an interview with the newspaper. "And now there will be no more holidays with him, not even this one coming now."

In a statement, NIU President John Peters said the university "cannot allow this to happen."

"In this country, we send our children to college, and we expect them to be safe," Peters said. "Unfortunately, in our society today, we have come to see acts of violence involving young people as an all too common occurrence. There is a danger that we may become desensitized and accept increasing levels of violence as a fact of life."

An emergency text issued by NIU warned students about the shooting and advised students still on campus to be cautious. The school is currently on its Thanksgiving break.

In 2008, a shooting rampage on the NIU campus left five people dead and more than a dozen injured.

A person who answered the phone at Thrailkill';s home declined to comment.

Thrailkill was due in court on Monday.

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